The Graduate Research Commons in the Perkins Library is a shared office space for writing and research. It is intended to be a quiet, scholarly workspace for a limited number of Duke doctoral students. Desk space in the Graduate Research Commons is not assigned. When they enter the room students who have registered for the Commons may simply choose any unoccupied desk and work as long as they wish in relative quiet.

Registered students will have exclusive access to the Commons and an adjacent support space that will have equipment such as an e-print terminal, scanner and desktop computer with adobe suite. They will also be given the use of a mobile locker (mobile storage unit) or static locker which will provide them with a secured place to leave their materials when they are not working in the Commons. The Commons will be open and accessible to registered students anytime that the Perkins Library is open.

Eligibility and registration

  • Only Duke doctoral candidates are eligible to be registered for to the Graduate Research Commons.
  • The Library will maintain a waiting list for doctoral students who would like access to the Commons.
    • Students may be on both Graduate Research Commons and carrel waiting lists.
    • No one may have access to the Commons and hold a Library Carrel at the same time.
    • When a carrel becomes available for a student who is registered for the Commons they will be need to choose which service they prefer. Choosing to remain in the Commons and passing up the carrel also means giving up their place on the carrel waiting list.
  • Duke University doctoral students who have assigned offices in their departments are not eligible to be registered for the Graduate Research Commons. Graduate student lounges, study/work rooms and open desk spaces do not qualify as “assigned offices.”
  • Students in the Duke University Schools of Business, Divinity, Law, Medicine and Nursing are not eligible to register for the Graduate Research Commons.
  • Registrations to the Graduate Research Commons will be for a renewable 1 year period.
    • Renewals will be permitted as long as student remains a Ph.D. candidate in residence at Duke.
    • If access is not renewed any assigned storage space must be cleared out and any related keys returned. A $15 clearing fee and $15 (locker) / $25 (Moby) key replacement fee will be assessed to anyone who does not resolve this issue within one week of expiration.
  • Registrations for the Graduate Research Commons are on a first-requested, first-accommodated basis

Mobile and Static Locker Use

  • Students who have been assigned Mobile lockers (mobile storage units) may remove them from the space but are expected to return them to the Graduate Research Commons whenever they leave the building. Leaving an unattended mobile locker anywhere except the Commons will result in loss of access to the space.
  • All library materials kept in mobile and static lockers must be properly checked out to the registered user.
  • Locker holders (both mobile and static) are responsible for the keys to their storage areas. Locker holders who lose keys will be charged $15 (static locker) / $25 (Mobile locker) for key replacement.
  • Food and other perishables may not be stored in either type of locker.
  • Library staff reserve the right to inspect mobile and static lockers at any time to ensure compliance with this agreement.

General Guidelines and Policies

  • The Graduate Research Commons is a shared workspace and it is expected that registered students will be considerate of their peers. This includes the expectations that users will:
    • clear the desk they have been using when they leave the room
    • avoid creating excess noise or bringing odoriferous food into the room
    • stow their unused mobile lockers in an approved location
    • not provide room access to patrons who are not registered GRC users

*Users who do not clear their space, create a disturbance or otherwise impede the use of the room by other registered users will lose their access to the Commons. Materials left on unoccupied desks will be removed.

  • The Graduate Research Commons is intended solely for use by registered students. Offering other library patrons access to the space is considered a violation of this policy and will be grounds for termination of access privileges.
  • Noise in carrels, including phone conversations, should be kept to a minimum. Earphones should be used when listening to audio.
  • Use of electrical heating devices is strictly prohibited. Violation will be grounds for termination of access privileges.
  • Duke University Libraries do not assume responsibility for any items kept in a mobile or static locker and will not be liable for lost or damaged belongings.
  • Duke University Libraries reserve the right to make changes to this agreement at any point during a registered user’s term. Library staff will inform users of the Graduate Student Commons of policy changes before changes take effect.